Odisha’s specific environmental considerations, as well as other factors, such as increasing population and large proportion of people living in slums without regular access to water and sanitation, necessitates the design of a sanitation solution that is customised to these constraints.
For Project Sammaan, particularly, it is vital that the sanitation infrastructure designed and deployed as part of the pilot project exemplifies the principles and design ideologies that best meet the needs of the people and the geography of the cities.
Of the various technologies researched and tested for deployment in the sanitation facilities being built as part of Project Sammaan, DEWATS is the system that best addresses the concerns mentioned above and we believe that this system contains the solution for India’s sanitation concerns.
DEWATS (or De-centralized Wastewater Treatment Systems) is a solution that extends beyond mere technology packages to become a technical approach to the sanitation solution.
The DEWATS system has two main advantages over the current sewage management system:
1. Treatment at source
DEWATS is decentralised by definition. It calls for all sewage treatment to be managed at the source, which means that systems can be designed and scaled up according to the demands of the particular location. This means that the sewage treatment solutions are built with a targeted user base whose needs are taken into consideration.
This approach also dramatically reduces one of the most significant costs associated with centralized sewage management: collecting and transporting the sewage from various locations to be treated at one central facility.
DEWATS is a system that is built on a modular approach. This means that the various components can be modified and upgraded independently of each other, in concert with factors such as increasing population or population density in a particular area.
This region-specific customization also reduces the startup and maintenance costs associated with building a centralised treatment facility since future growth of population and infrastructural development can be addressed in situ and as required. This also reduces the cost of setting up facilities that need to take into account future population growth and, essentially, gamble on the when, where, and how of increasing population, which is, at best, an imprecise science.